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Difference between revisions of "Abusir"

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Lower Egypt : Abusir
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The Abusir necropolis is open daily 8am-4pm. A total of 7 pyramids were constructed at Abusir, some better preserved than others, but all in a far more ruined state - and certainly built to more modest dimensions - than those found at Giza:
 
The Abusir necropolis is open daily 8am-4pm. A total of 7 pyramids were constructed at Abusir, some better preserved than others, but all in a far more ruined state - and certainly built to more modest dimensions - than those found at Giza:
  
*the '''Pyramid of Sahure''' - located closest to the entrance to the site
+
*the '''Pyramid of Sahure''' - located closest to the entrance to the site, the Pyramid of Sahure (pronounced "Sa-who-ray") - the second ruler of the 5th Dynasty - was the first constructed at Abusir. Numerous blocks carved in beautiful deep relief were revealed here when the French archaeologist Borchardt excavated between 1902-1908. The core of the now-ruined pyramid is formed with roughly-shaped, locally-quarried blocks of limestone and consisted of five or six steps. On the eastern side of the pyramid, the attached mortuary temple is reasonably well-preserved, retaining numerous granite pillars and large blocks with Sahure's cartouche still clearly visible.
 
*the '''Pyramid of Niuserre'''
 
*the '''Pyramid of Niuserre'''
 
*the '''Pyramid of Neferirkare''' - the most intact of the Abusir pyramids
 
*the '''Pyramid of Neferirkare''' - the most intact of the Abusir pyramids

Revision as of 13:00, 8 June 2005

Abusir (also spelt Abu Sir) is the name given to an Egyptian archaeological locality on the desert plateau (and its neighbouring village in the valley) 10 km (7 miles) south of Giza and x km north of Saqqara. Situated a convenient 35 km south of the Egyptian capital Cairo, Abusir is the site of a compact pyramid field, with pyramids and funerary temples dating mainly from the 5th Dynasty of the Old Kingdom. It is somewhat "off the beaten track" for most visitors and therefore ideal for exploration with far less hassle and company than will be experienced at Giza, or even Saqqara.

Contents

Understand

Just one, relatively small segment of the extensive "pyramid field" that extends from north of Giza to below Saqqara, the locality of Abusir took its turn as the focus of the prestigious western burial rites operating out of the then-capital of Memphis as an elite cemetery (or necropolis) during the Old Kingdom 5th Dynasty. Neighbouring Giza had by then "filled up" with the massive pyramids and other monuments of the 4th Dynasty, leading the 5th Dynasty pharaohs to seek sites elsewhere for their own funerary monuments. Although two 5th Dynasty pharaohs (Unas and Userkaf) did build their pyramids further south at Saqqara, adjacent to the 3rd Dynasty Step Pyramid of Djoser, most of the Dynasty's rulers concentrated their efforts at Abusir (for their pyramids and associated funerary temples) and elsewhere (for their so-called "sun-temples").

Get in

See

The Abusir necropolis is open daily 8am-4pm. A total of 7 pyramids were constructed at Abusir, some better preserved than others, but all in a far more ruined state - and certainly built to more modest dimensions - than those found at Giza:

  • the Pyramid of Sahure - located closest to the entrance to the site, the Pyramid of Sahure (pronounced "Sa-who-ray") - the second ruler of the 5th Dynasty - was the first constructed at Abusir. Numerous blocks carved in beautiful deep relief were revealed here when the French archaeologist Borchardt excavated between 1902-1908. The core of the now-ruined pyramid is formed with roughly-shaped, locally-quarried blocks of limestone and consisted of five or six steps. On the eastern side of the pyramid, the attached mortuary temple is reasonably well-preserved, retaining numerous granite pillars and large blocks with Sahure's cartouche still clearly visible.
  • the Pyramid of Niuserre
  • the Pyramid of Neferirkare - the most intact of the Abusir pyramids

Sleep

There is no accommodation on offer at Abusir. Most visitors travel out of Cairo or a neighbouring area to visit the site.

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